The broken window theory, developed by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982, suggests that visible community deterioration affects crime rates and resident behavior. This theory uses the analogy of a broken window to argue its point. The analogy explains that if a broken window is left unfixed for an extended period of time, it will suggest to others that the community is vulnerable to attack and other acts of vandalism are likely to occur. Yet, if the window is fixed immediately, it will suggest to others that vandalism will not be tolerated and thereby deters other acts of vandalism.
By understanding deteriorated community environments inevitably promote criminal and anti-social behavior, urban planners can develop and promote initiatives to lessen the chances of this happening.